The Fair Housing Five

A new book for children

About The Book

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Way back at a 2007 organizational retreat, GNOFHAC staff grappled with some major issues that our neighbors and our organization were facing. One was the sheer volume and intensity of fair housing violations being committed in our region after Katrina. Housing discrimination based on race, disability and family status was keeping former residents of the Gulf Coast from coming home. Further, there was a whole generation of kids growing up witnessing the grave injustices committed against some of our most vulnerable (though invaluable) neighbors. How could we take our work to the next level in order to stop these cycles of injustice?

The other major issue that staff faced was one of sustainability for our organization. In the wake of the receding floodwaters of 2005, GNOFHAC grew quickly due to generous donations from individuals and unprecedented philanthropic investments in our organization and region. But we knew that at some point, it was likely that financial support would start to wane as individuals, foundations, and the federal government turned their attentions elsewhere. How could we sustain our growth?

The Fair Housing Five is one answer to both of these questions. Developed by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) in collaboration with New Orleans educators, parents and students through a series of workshops and focus groups, The Fair Housing Five is a new illustrated children’s book about kids who take action in their neighborhood in response to a landlord who is discriminating. It is a book designed to initiate conversations between parents, caregivers, teachers and children about housing discrimination, systemic inequality, and the important role that we all have in ending both. Strategically, we also aimed to inform parents, caregivers, and educators about their fair housing rights when they read the book with children. Finally, we hope the book will empower youth to advocate for justice and create positive change in their communities. GNOFHAC is working to develop curriculum to accompany the book, and has already conducted fair housing workshops in several New Orleans schools.

Revenue from book sales will go straight back into GNOFHAC programs, to ensure that there are adequate resources for both fair housing enforcement and education. By purchasing a copy of the book, you are participating in an innovative new strategy to end housing discrimination AND helping to support GNOFHAC’s sustainability.

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Watch the video to learn more about The Fair Housing Five and why it matters.  (And thanks to everyone who helped make our Kickstarter campaign successful!)